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T-Mobile deal with MetroPCS get regulators' OK

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

T-Mobile USA's deal to merge with smaller telecom carrier MetroPCS has cleared all regulatory hurdles in the United States, the companies announced Thursday.

The deal remains subject to MetroPCS shareholder approval, with a vote set for April 12. One fund manager with a nearly 10 percent stake in MetroPCS has pledged to oppose the merger.

T-Mobile, which is controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, said its merger plan had been cleared this week by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews acquisitions on national security grounds.

"This concludes all regulatory approval the parties were seeking prior to closing the proposed combination, which remains subject to the approval of MetroPCS stockholders," a statement from the companies said.

T-Mobile USA unveiled plans last year to merge with its smaller rival in a deal that boosts the fourth-largest US wireless carrier's effort to compete in the fast-growing American market.

Deutsche Telekom firm will hold a 74 percent stake in the new company, which will position itself as "the leading value carrier in the US wireless marketplace."

But hedge fund Paulson & Co. Inc., which has a 9.9 percent stake in MetroPCS, said last month it would vote against the deal as structures.

The investment fund said the new firm would hold "too much debt at too high an interest rate to be competitive in the well-capitalized US wireless industry" and that "the majority of the value is extracted by Deutsche Telekom."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130321/t-mobile-deal-metropcs-get-regulators-ok